Transcription factors of the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB)/Rel family play a crucial role in gene regulation during a variety of different cellular processes. This review focuses on the increasing knowledge of the role of NF-kappaB in skin physiology and pathology. Several studies demonstrate that NF-kappaB, or components of the system such as IkappaB kinase (IKK)-alpha, seem to be involved in epidermal development and differentiation. Furthermore, a dysregulation of NF-kappaB is suggested to play an important role in skin pathology, including proliferative disorders, e.g. psoriasis, inflammatory processes such as incontinentia pigmenti (IP), sunburn, Lyme disease, allergic contact dermatitis and autoimmune diseases, as well as also in skin carcinogenesis. However, although the knowledge concerning the role of NF-kappaB in the homeostasis of the skin is steadily increasing, many more questions need to be answered.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Inc.